Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores perros premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival — that’s now twenty years ago. The kinetic, pulse-pounding drama about dog fights, car chases and broken hearts announced the arrival of a new voice in Mexican cinema. The film further established Gael García Bernal as an actor to watch and made the crew (including cinematographer Rodrgo Prieto, composer Gustavo Santaolalla and writer Guillermo Arriaga) the toast of Cannes. It went on to become a smash hit, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film and 10 Ariel awards. Curiously enough, though, the now Oscar-winning filmmaker is discouraging viewers from watching his debut feature.
On a Zoom call with Mexican press honoring Amores perros, González Iñárritu announced he’s working on a new restoration of the film. He advises everyone to avoid the video releases that are out there which, to his view, don’t do Prieto’s color contrast aesthetic justice. Indeed, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer is working closely on the restoration as well. The plan, as the filmmaker announced, is to have the print ready for an outdoor screening at the Zócalo plaza in Mexico City with live orchestrations courtesy of Santaolalla. The plans also include a possible post-screening concert featuring many of the artists like Ely Guerra, Nacha Pop, Control Machete, Café Tacvba and Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas that made the film’s soundtrack so iconic.
All of this is contingent, of course, on COVID-related social distancing restrictions being lifted. Right now, Mexico City is a hot spot of the worldwide pandemic and it’s unclear how, if at all, things will get back to normal. Indeed, González Iñárritu actually had to stop production on his next film when the city’s studios were shut down back in March. Should movie theaters be able to reopen in time for the fall, the new Amores perros print will get a special screening at the Morelia International Film Festival in October.